Bhujbal offered luxurious treatment in jail

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Jail authorities to probe VIP facilities being offered to Chhagan and Sameer Bhujbal after Anjali Damania filed a complaint with them.

After activist Anjali Damania had filed a complaint with Maharashtra’s Additional Director General (Prisons) Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay pertaining to luxurious facilities being offered to former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal the Maharashtra prisons department has called for a probe into this matter. The investigation will be held under the leadership of DIG prisons Swathi Sathe.

Upadhyay has ordered for inquiry into the allegations made by Damania. He said, “We had registered the complaints filed by Anjali Damania. We had taken necessary actions pertaining to the complaints lodged earlier. DIG Prison Swati Sathe has been deputed to conduct an inquiry about the preferential treatment being offered to Bhujbal. Necessary legal action will be taken based on the findings of the inquiry.”

Earlier Anjali Damania had alleged that Bhujbal and his nephew Sameer were being offered several facilities in the prison which other accused may not be entitled to. In the complaint filed by Damania she mentioned, “A television set was being installed in the cell and Bhujbal used to watch programmes.  He was offered non-vegetarian food and fruits were also being provided to him every two hours. Even Vodka was being offered to Sameer mixed with coconut water in the prison. These incidents have been happening since January. Sameer Bhujbal also had access to mobile phones in the prison and he used to speak for three hours using it. Even mobile jammer was being snapped inside the prison for allowing Sameer to use phones.”

The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Bhujbal and Sameer on March 2016 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Currently both are lodged in the Arthur Road jail.

“Is he the only one getting these perks or there could be many more such VIPs/VVIPs in our prisons enjoying such luxuries. This is thanks to the rampant corruption in the jails. It is clearly the connivance of the Jail Authorities, Police department and the staff of government hospitals,” said Anjali Damania.

Anjali had called for CCTV cameras to be installed in the prison for monitoring the activities of prisoners. The activist has requested Upadhyay to restrict and monitor the people meeting such prisoners in hospital.

“There were reports that Bhujbal met a lot of people, including those from the political class, when he visits the court. This was widely covered by the media. But this was repeated. But, unfortunately no action has been taken and no lesson has been learnt?,” reads the complaint.

Chhagan Bhujbal’s lawyer R.B.Mokashi said, “ADG Bhusan Kumar Upadhayay is looking into the complaint filed by Anjali Damania. We are waiting for the arrival of probe report.”

This is not the first instance where reports about preferential treatment offered to Chhagan and Sameer Bhujbal were published in media. Earlier, Damania had filed a contempt petition against Dr TP Lahane, the dean of JJ Hospital, for permitting Bhujbal to extend his stay at a private hospital in Mumbai on the pretext of offering medical treatment.